EUROPE/ARMENIA - Armenian Patriarch Karekin II calls for decisive intervention by the international community in Nagorno-Karabakh

Thursday, 15 October 2020 oriental churches   area crisis   nationalisms   wars   ethnic minorities   geopolitics  


Yerevan (Agenzia Fides) - The Azerbaijani military operations in the Nagorno Karabakh region, "ignore the ceasefire agreement", and confirm the failure of the negotiations carried out so far. In the face of this scenario, the international community, and above all the States involved in the "Minsk Group" - a body entrusted by OSCE to mediate in the conflict - must "adopt more decisive measures to prevent Azerbaijan's genocidal actions, with direct involvement of Turkey, forcing them to end the war and negotiate a final solution". In a statement relaunched by the Armenian press, the Patriarch also recalled the bombing of the civilian population and the damage to the Armenian cathedral of Shushi by rocket fire (see Fides, 9/10/2020).
"War" added the Catholicos of all Armenians, "is not a decision of our people. We have been forced to defend ourselves in order to preserve our life, freedom and dignity in the face of violence and brutality". In his message, the Patriarch also calls on Armenians around the world to "continue our efforts to gain international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh" (which is not recognized by the international community, ed).
Nagorno Karabakh is a mountainous region in the Armenian-majority Caucasus which, after the Bolshevik conquest of 1920, was assigned by Stalin to Azerbaijan as an autonomous region. The issue of ethnic and political tensions around Nagorno Karabakh arose at the time of the dissolution of the USSR. In this predominantly Armenian region, the local soviet proclaimed in September 1991 the birth of the new Artsakh Republic, on the basis of the Soviet legislation then in force and after Azerbaijan had left the USSR. A referendum and elections followed, but the following January the Azeri military reaction led to a conflict which left 30,000 dead and ended with a ceasefire agreement signed in 1993. Since then, the agreement in question has been continuously violated by border attacks and skirmishes, until the massive resumption of hostilities in recent weeks. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/10/2020)